about Nikki Coleman

 

Why music is important for young children


All children are naturally musical - singing, dancing and making music are fundamental human activities.


My role as an Early Childhood Music Educator is to extend the children’s aural awareness and innate musicality, to develop their musical skills, and to explore their natural creativity with sound and movement. I am also there as a resource for Parents, Grandparents and Carers who attend the classes for children under 3, offering them a broad range of songs and musical activities that they can use with their children at home in everyday life. Children in the classes for 3 year olds and up, who attend the classes without an accompanying adult, can share the songs, rhymes and games they learn in the classes with their families at home. Open classes are held at least twice a year for Parents, Grandparents and Carers to participate in the class.


Young children delight in exploring their voices and creating music in all forms, from the first experiments with sound of the newborn baby, to the improvised words and melodies of the pre-schooler who spontaneously sings whilst playing. With their wonderfully attuned aural sense, children will respond and move to music from a very early age. If music-making activities are not a part of everyday life, the young child will gradually lose touch with this fundamental part of himself or herself, and many children will stop singing and making music altogether by the time they are 5 or 6 year olds.


Research has shown that in the first 5 or 6 years of our lives, the foundations are laid for all future learning. In those first few years of life, we can expand or limit our possibilities simply by using a part of the brain or leaving it undeveloped. Brain scans of babies have revealed that there is a separate part of the human brain dedicated to music, and that this is further divided into 2 sections, one for pitch and one for rhythm.


Experience with Music and Music Education

I became interested in the world of music for young children when my first child was born 12 years ago and have delighted in watching my own children’s musicality blossom in a joyful and natural way. In those early years of motherhood, as my interest in music education for young children grew, I was excited to discover that the Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA) ran rigorous Teacher Training courses. I began my studies with KMEIA in Sydney with the course in Kodaly Early Childhood Music Education and gained my accreditation as a do-re-mi teacher. I then went on to complete the Kodaly Certificate of Primary Education at the University of Queensland.


As well as teaching do-re-mi classes for Babies to 6 year olds since 2005, I have been running the Early Childhood Music programme (Kindergarten to Year 2) at Birchgrove Public School since 2006 and am employed as the Music Teacher and Band Co-ordinator at the Inner Sydney Montessori School.


For over 20 years I have been teaching saxophone at schools and privately and continue to teach Saxophone and Musicianship lessons in my home studio. I have taught Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Ensemble workshops for adults in Australia and England.


In my work as a professional musician over the past 20 years I have played saxophone, flute and clarinet in a variety of bands. These include Classical Saxophone Quartets, Jazz Quartets and Big Bands, African and Indian ‘World Music’ ensembles, and a few Funk and Pop bands thrown in the mix.


Spiral Music Classes for Children


Studies/ Qualifications                                                                                              

                                                                                                        

Master of Teaching (Secondary) in Music        University of New England, Australia

Grad. Cert. Music (Aural Pedagogy)                University of Queensland, Australia

Kodaly Certificate of Primary Education           KMEIA & University of Queensland, Australia

Kodaly Early Childhood Music Education          NSW Kodaly Music Association of Australia

John Feieraband ECM Workshop                     Conservatorium of NSW, Australia

Diploma of Music                                     

(Jazz Studies/Performance/Saxophone)           Berklee College of Music, Boston USA

Jazz Fundamentals                                        Conservatorium of NSW, Australia

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)                             Macquarie University, Australia